Hayden Donnell

Hayden Donnell is a staff writer for The Spinoff.

Society
Nov 28, 2018

Counterpoint: Santa is neither man, nor woman. Santa is an eternal demon

New Zealand is engaged in a long-running, intense, and completely reasonable debate over whether Santa is a boy or a girl. Hayden Donnell offers his own equally reasonable addition to the discourse.

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Politics
Nov 15, 2018

If you think cycleways are financially disastrous, wait till you hear about roads

Cycleways are under fire this week following an incredibly misleading Herald story. Hayden Donnell goes in search of some transport projects to actually get angry about.

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Politics
Nov 9, 2018

Did Phil Twyford just turn KiwiBuild into a property investor's paradise? The definitive ruling

Labour is getting crapped on from the left and right after loosening its restrictions on people making capital gains off KiwiBuild houses

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Music
Nov 9, 2018

A brief history of The Wombats

How the Wombats, one of the most long-lasting bands from the mid-2000s British guitar rock revival, outlived their contemporaries.

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Television
Nov 1, 2018

I set up an alternative Te Papa outside Te Papa called ‘Also Te Papa’

In episode six of Get It to Te Papa, a Lightbox Original made by The Spinoff, Hayden Donnell's journey finally takes him to the national museum.

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Food
Nov 1, 2018

It’s time to ban all Kiwiana fusion foods

After a harrowing experience in a Countdown, Hayden Donnell calls for a moratorium on all classic New Zealand snack mash-ups.

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Beverage
Oct 31, 2018

The case for buying one of New Zealand’s most expensive whiskies

Hayden Donnell surveys one of the more rare whiskies to ever go on sale in New Zealand, and asks whether it’s worth its gigantic purchasing price.

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Get it to Te Papa
Oct 30, 2018

An oral history of a life changing encounter with Suzanne Paul

In episode five of Get It to Te Papa, a Lightbox Original made by The Spinoff, Hayden Donnell's odyssey takes him to the front door of New Zealand's only true living legend: Suzanne Paul.

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Auckland
Oct 30, 2018

If you think Lime scooters are a safety menace, wait till you hear about cars

People are freaking out about the potential hazards of Lime e-scooters. Hayden Donnell asks whether we could apply these same standards to another type of vehicle causing even more harm.

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Television
Oct 25, 2018

Is Auckland’s Giant Santa in danger?

In episode four of Get It to Te Papa, a Lightbox Original made by The Spinoff, Hayden Donnell goes on the hunt for Auckland's infamous winking, come-hithering Giant Santa.

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Television
Oct 23, 2018

The scandalous truth about the Huntly Deka Sign

In episode three of Get It to Te Papa, a Lightbox Original made by The Spinoff, Hayden Donnell starts a valiant campaign to move the country's most famous sign to Te Papa: the Deka sign in Huntly. 

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Auckland
Oct 20, 2018

Waterfront stadium: good or bad? Hayden Donnell and Hayden Donnell debate

Yet another waterfront stadium plan is being put forward for Auckland. Modern-day stadium naysayer Hayden Donnell summons his stadium-supporting past self to debate the merits.

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Television
Oct 18, 2018

A love letter to my childhood tormentors: The Big Fresh Vegetables

In episode two of Get It to Te Papa, a Lightbox Original made by The Spinoff, Hayden Donnell goes in search of the animatronic veges that instilled both delight and horror in '90s kids across the nation.

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Television
Oct 16, 2018

An open letter to the Waitangi Dildo

Today at midday the first two episodes of Get It to Te Papa, a Lightbox Original made by The Spinoff, are released. Presenter Hayden Donnell has a few words for the infamous subject of episode one.

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Television
Oct 4, 2018

Announcing Get It to Te Papa: our televised quest to get under-appreciated Kiwi treasures into the national museum

Two years ago, Spinoff founder Duncan Greive commanded Hayden Donnell to stop pitching things that should be in Te Papa. Today we announce our new show, Get It to Te Papa, starring Hayden Donnell.

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Television
Oct 4, 2018

One man’s desperate quest to get Pru from Renters to agree to rental reform

Hayden Donnell talks to one of the show’s stars ahead of its seventh season, and tries to convince her to support pro-tenant rental reform.

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Auckland
Oct 1, 2018

Forget lower speed limits – just pedestrianise central Auckland

Auckland has erupted into furious debate over a proposal to adopt a 30km/h speed limit in the city centre. Hayden Donnell comes up with a solution sure to please everyone. 

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Science
Sep 29, 2018

Was the octopus-seal vs kayak viral video a set-up? A Spinoff investigation

We dive deep into the heaven-sent octoslap viral video.

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Politics
Sep 26, 2018

Jacinda Ardern goes overseas, promptly emits beam of hope in our dark world

She set foot in the US and immediately became a media sensation. How did she become a light for our troubled world?

Read on.

Food
Sep 26, 2018

PSA: You are not dying. You have eaten beetroot

Many of us have suffered the terror of a beetroot poo, but few of us ever talk about our experience. Hayden Donnell says it’s time to bring this important issue into the light.

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Beverage
Sep 20, 2018

Should you microwave your wine in winter? A Spinoff investigation

After reading advice urging him to microwave red wine during the winter, Hayden Donnell angrily takes on New Zealand’s entire wine community.

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Society
Sep 18, 2018

Separating fact from fiction in the 1080 debate

Facebook is flooded with rabid anti-1080 activism, but the poison is the only barrier between many of New Zealand's native species and extinction.

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Society
Sep 17, 2018

When anti-1080 activism grew noisy, and got ugly

Anti-1080 activism has exploded in popularity and intensity in the last few months. Hayden Donnell goes down the rabbit hole to find out what’s behind the movement’s rise.

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Auckland
Sep 11, 2018

Revenge of the NIMBYs: Is council too weak to enact its own Unitary Plan?

Having nitpicked its way into rejecting two high-density apartment developments near the CBD, does Auckland Council's consents department really believe in the vision of the Unitary Plan?

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Media
Sep 3, 2018

What is happening? Mike Hosking and Mark Richardson both made great points

New Zealanders have woken up to a topsy turvy world this morning, with normally annoying commentators Mark Richardson and Mike Hosking talking a lot of sense, reports Hayden Donnell.

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Auckland
Aug 30, 2018

How a council email footer sparked a local government conspiracy

A rogue Auckland Council email footer has sparked a wave of angst and recriminations in Takapuna, providing a glimpse into a broader conspiracy culture in local government.

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